What is analytical listening? (A complete guide)

In this blog post, we explain what is analytical listening, what is the importance of our voice and the meaning behind the sounds we make.

We also speak about critical listening vs analytical listening in the process of evaluating a song. 

What is Analytical Listening?

Analytical listening refers to a style of listening to an audio composition with the express purpose of figuring out the meaning of the sounds in that composition. Analytical listening is most used by music producers and other musical individuals, who need to analyse music and notes as they listen to the compositions. Someone engaging in analytical listening actively engages in the music they are listening to, and may not just passively enjoy it.

Analytical listening is one through which the order and meaning of the information are heard in order to understand the relationship between ideas that are reflecting on the message.

Specific information is sought in the issuer’s statement, separating said information from emotions. 

The conceptual content and its interrelation are understood. The communication is analyzed and it is examined if the conclusions are logical and correct.

Questions are asked to the interlocutor to discover the underlying reasons for the message.

In simpler terms, analytic listening is about sounds, for example about the intonation of a person’s greeting, behind which we can identify a specific emotion, such as joy, sadness, anger, and so on.

The voice, the most important tool of communication

The voice is something we share with others. Without a voice, you can’t sing, scream, cry or laugh. But the voice is more than a conglomeration of sounds.

The voice says a lot about our personality and condition. For example, from the tone of voice, we can tell if someone is upset, happy, annoyed or relaxed.

But how can we develop our voice and how does its sound affect our personality?

Every voice is unique. Even though each of us has a certain stamp, it is not the same every day. Our voice is affected by our health and condition.

If we are afraid or if we dislike something, we have the feeling of a strangled voice.

The muscles tense, including in the area of ​​the vocal cords. This intervenes in communication and changes the voice considerably.

Whether we like it or not, others notice changes in their voice.

 Even in depressed states, our voice changes. It becomes weaker and slower, and the vocal cords close more slowly and produce a lower voice than usual.

And in the case of well-being, the voice is sharper, clearer and stronger.

A good speech or a significant contribution in a debate depends on what you say.

But if it is not understood what you are saying, then it reflects the fact that you do not trust yourself or your statements. The voice is thus an important part of any conversation.

Our emotions reflect the situation we are in. What does this mean? Each person has a certain intonation when speaking. If the intonation changes, it means that we are going through negative or positive emotions: anxiety, stress, happiness.

In extremely tense situations, our voice can be disastrously blocked or distorted.

This effect is called psycho respiratory and can be identified through analytical listening.  

Other effects that we can identify through analytical listening are:

– When you blow air on your nose it can denote arrogance.

– If you raise your voice or sharpen it suddenly you give the impression of aggression and coldness.

– If the speech is incoherent, the message does not show confidence.

– Exaggerations in speech and sudden changes in intonation can denote lying.

Critical listening vs Analytical listening

Critical listening is also known as evaluative listening.

We listen, evaluate and criticize the received message so that we can make the appropriate decisions regarding the information we just received. 

An important aspect of critical listening is to differentiate between facts and words charged with emotion or manifestations, typical of intentionality.

It is always important to focus on the goal of the message.

Critical and analytical listening are oftentimes used in describing the process of evaluating music.

In this scenario, critical listening means evaluating the technical part of a song, while analytical listening is more about the meaning of the sounds and the emotions related to it.

Other types of listening

Besides analytical listening, which is our main theme for this article, there are other 13 different types of listening.

Discriminative listening – This is the most rudimentary form of listening that we humans are capable of. Discriminative listening is about the vibrations and sounds of the interlocutor’s voice.

This type of listening is very important because it communicates the message behind the words.

Basically, discriminatory listening helps us to capture emotions from the other person’s voice.

Informational listening – A type of listening to that requires immense concentration.

This form of listening is about the ability to receive the information the speaker wants to convey. Informational listening is about learning what you hear.

Comprehensive Listening – A type of listening that we practice almost daily. For example, when you are attending a lecture or you are having a conversation with your friend, you practice comprehensive listening.

The purpose of this type of listening is to understand best the message of our interlocutor. 

Therapeutic or Empathic Listening – A type of listening to that prioritizes the mental state, emotions and feelings of the speaker.

As an example, you can practice empathic listening when someone gives you advice or asks you for a sensitive issue or topic.

Selective listening – A negative way of listening to someone. This type of listening can often cause conflicts or misunderstandings between people.

Selective listening involves filtering the speaker’s message and selecting from what he or she says, a part that affects you or that interests you most.

Rapport listening  – Oftentimes practised by sellers. Their interest is to make you feel important, understood and valuable.

Therefore, people who practice listening will do everything they can to please the interlocutor.

Evaluative listening – It occurs when the interlocutor tries to convince us by influencing our attitudes, beliefs or ideas.

We listen and evaluate the received message so that we can make the appropriate decisions regarding the received message. Evaluative listening is also called critical listening.

Appreciative listening – Appreciative listening is one through which we listen without paying

attention, in a relaxed way, seeking pleasure or inspiration. We hear about

entertainment. We don’t actually pay attention. 

Deep listening – It means being fully present and ready to listen to the other person.

This form of listening involves empathy, understanding, unconditional respect for the other person.

High integrity listening – It implies that you know how to listen with integrity.

Integrity is the kind of virtue that encompasses a series of moral traits of a person, such as honesty, respect for oneself and others. 

Judgmental listening – It is practised by those who, in communicating with others, spend most of their time analyzing and evaluating what the other person is saying.

These people do not shy away from expressing their opinion even if it comes in contention with everything the speaker has said. 

Sympathetic listening – It is somehow resembling empathetic listening.

This type of communication requires special attention to the emotions of the interlocutor.

Sympathetic listening allows you to express your emotions about what you hear. 

Relationship listening – It is about the connection that is formed between people when they communicate.

The stronger this connection is, the easier the two people can understand each other.

Analytical Listening Stages

There are four main Analytical Listening Stages:

Receiving: When we hear something, we attend to it, which is the first process of any kind of listening, including analytical listening, and no type of listening happens without the stage of attending to the stimulus or receiving it. Attending is the most important part of the receiving stage of analytical listening, and it may be defined as the process of is the process of accurately identifying and interpreting particular sounds we hear as words.

Understanding: In this Analytica listening stage, the listener tries to focus on the basic comprehension of what has been received in the first stage, because they will not know how to analyze the stimulus further unless they know if it is even something they can understand. This stage refers to the understanding of the “shared meaning between parties in a communication transaction”.

Evaluating: While it may seem like evaluating is not an analytical listening stage, but rather might belong in evaluative listening, the important thing to remember is that analytical listening tends to be a part of most other types of listening, even evaluative listening, and as such, this stage involves evaluating whether what has been heard is well constructed or disorganized, biased or unbiased, true or false, significant or insignificant.

Responding: This is the last analytical listening stage, and it involves the person reacting in some way to what they have heard, and it can be verbal, non-verbal or behavioral, like a music producer changing the tune a little bit because they have listened analytically and determined that it needs to be changed slightly here or there.

Analytical Listening Techniques

There are two main Analytical Listening techniques that are commonly used by most people who want to or need to develop analytical listening skills, and these are: Ear Training or Listening, Summarizing and Digging Deeper (LSD technique)

To begin with, the LSD technique for analytical listening is very commonly used, and it is something that may be employed by just about anyone that wants to practice analytical listening.

Listening is the first step in the LSD technique to analytical listening, and obviously, it involves listening, but that is not all, one needs to pay attention when they are listening, they need to understand it and evaluate it as it is being said, and they need to make sure that they have heard the message properly.

Next step in the LSD technique to analytical listening is summarizing, and in this step the person can either summarize what they have heard to themselves, to ensure retention of what was heard, or they can paraphrase it to the other person, to show that they have understood the message in that certain way, and if there is a need for correction the other person can do it on the basis of the paraphrasing.

Lastly, Digging deeper is the third step of the LSD technique to analytical listening, in which the person is meant to ask whatever questions they have and what helps them understand the subject better.

Furthermore, the person can also try the Ear Training technique for analytical listening, though this is used more often in music training, and it involves practices related to intervals in music and chords and other music related things, and there are many websites where this can be done, one of which is this one.

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Analytical Listening in Problem-Solving: Worksheets

Analytical listening in problem-solving worksheets often involve the things one can do to become better at analytical listening, and they may involve activities and information about how someone is meant to goo about getting better at analytical listening skills for problem-solving in particular.

This first analytical listening worksheet for problem-solving is meant to be specifically for the friends and family members of schizophrenia and it also provides a lot of information on how to deal with a person suffering from schizophrenia, and how to help them in the best way possible when they are out of psychiatric care.

Expressed emotion theory of schizophrenia is one of the most significant theories of the disorder, and as such, communication skills are important.

One might find this analytical listening for problem-solving worksheet here.

Another worksheet for analytical listening for problem-solving may be found here, and this one is for students, with examples of different types of listening along with spaces of what type of listening it might be, and it might be a good thing to do to teach the students of the key features of different types of listening.

This last worksheet for analytical listening in problem-solving focuses more on the aspects of problem-solving and talks about analytical listening as one of the aspects of it.

This worksheet is in a diagrammatic form, and talks about the different parts involved in problem-solving, and this worksheet can be used by just about anyone who understand English well enough.

Analytical Listening in Problem-Solving: Activities

Analytical listening in problem-solving activities tend to revolve around giving the listener all the necessary skills to be able to pay attention to what they are hearing so that they may use this to solve the relevant problems they may have.

One such activity that may help with analytical listening in problem-solving might be to give the listener pieces of information related to the subject they usually deal with, or a certain problem they have often, and ask them to evaluate different aspects of it.

They may be asked to come up with alternatives to what they thought at first when they heard the problem or when they first heard the message, and then they may be taught the LSD technique to teach them how they could listen analytically to make more sense of the situation.

Another activity for analytical listening in problem-solving is to ask the listening questions about what they have just heard in an effort to show them the other avenues to think about the problem differently, and approach it from different angles to possibly solve it more effectively.

Conclusions

In this blog post, we explained what analytical listening is, what is the importance of our voice and the meaning behind the sounds we make.

We also spoke about critical listening vs analytical listening in the process of evaluating a song. 

In simpler terms, analytic listening is about sounds, for example about the intonation of a person’s greeting, behind which we can identify a specific emotion, such as joy, sadness, anger, and so on.

Critical listening is also known as evaluative listening.

We listen, evaluate and criticize the received message so that we can make the appropriate decisions regarding the information we just received. 

Critical and analytical listening are oftentimes used in describing the process of evaluating music.

In this scenario, critical listening means evaluating the technical part of a song, while analytical listening is more about the meaning of the sounds and the emotions related to it.

If you have any questions, comments or recommendations, please let us know!

FAQ about analytical listening

What is analytical listening?

Analytic listening is more about sounds, for example about the intonation of a person’s greeting, behind which we can identify a specific emotion, such as joy, sadness, anger, and so on.

What is critical listening?

Critical listening occurs when the interlocutor tries to convince us by influencing our attitudes, beliefs or ideas.

We listen and evaluate the received message so that we can make the appropriate decisions regarding the received message. 

What makes a good listener?

A good listener is attentive to his caller. Listen with empathy, understanding, and an open-minded year and ask important questions.

A good listener knows that not everything is solved, as if by magic, just by having a conversation. Instead, it takes time and openness.

What is the condition that affects critical listening?

One of the conditions that affect critical listening is noise – as it impedes us to concentrate and pay attention to what our interlocutor is saying.

Is listening profound or comprehensive?

Listening can be both profound and comprehensive.

Profound listening implies being attentive and thoughtful about the speaker’s feelings.

Comprehensive listening requires a high degree of attention in order to understand the other person, also.

Further reading

Active Listening, by Carl R. Rogers

Active Listening: Improve Your Conversation Skills, Learn Effective Communication Techniques: Achieve Successful Relationships: With 6 Essential Guidelines, by Joseph Sorensen 

The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction, by Rebecca Z. Shafir MA CCC

Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry

What we recommend for Relationship & LGBTQ issues

Relationship counselling

  • If you are having relationship issues or maybe you are in an abusive relationship then relationship counselling could be your first point of call. Relationship counselling could be undertaken by just you, it does not require more than one person.

LGBTQ issues

If you are dealing with LGBTQ issues then LGBTQ counselling may be a great option for you. Maybe you are confused as to your role and identity or simply need someone to speak to. LGBTQ counsellors are specially trained to assist you in this regard.

References

Active Listening, by Carl R. Rogers

Active Listening: Improve Your Conversation Skills, Learn Effective Communication Techniques: Achieve Successful Relationships: With 6 Essential Guidelines, by Joseph Sorensen 

Jmcacademy.edu.au

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